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A checklist of what to do when someone dies in the UK

In this section, we will guide you through the first few steps after the death of a loved one. Watch our helpful video which carefully explains everything you will need to do; from registering a death to letting friends and family know that a loved one has sadly passed away.

When someone dies, contact our 24/7 support team as soon as you can. We will be able to guide you through the process, every step of the way.

Discover what to do at each stage in the process:

  1. 1. Get a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  2. 2. Register the death
  3. 3. Arrange for your loved one to be brought into the funeral director's care
  4. 4. Tell friends and family

Your loved one may have bought one of our Prepaid Funeral Plans; your local Funeral Director will be able to check this for you.

Whether the person died at home or in hospital, you will need to fill in a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. We've listed what you will need to do depending on the circumstances of the death below.

Download our checklist which explains what to do when someone dies


What to do if someone dies in hospital

If your loved one passes away in hospital, the staff will issue a Medical Certificate and formal notice, and provide information about how to register the death. The deceased will usually be kept in the hospital mortuary until your chosen funeral director arranges for your loved one to be brought into their care.


What to do if someone dies at home

If someone dies at home, you should call their GP or an ambulance as soon as possible. The doctor will then be able to examine the deceased and confirm the death. Only then will they be able to issue the Medical Certificate and formal notice, offering you advice on the next steps.


What to do if someone dies in public

When someone dies in a public place, the emergency services are usually called. If the death appears to be natural, medical staff other than doctors can confirm that someone is deceased, as a doctor may not be around to issue the Medical Certificate. This is known as verification of death; a temporary measure until a GP can issue the Certificate.


What to do if someone dies abroad

If someone dies abroad, you will need to register the death according to the regulations of the country in which your loved one has passed and get a consulate death certificate. You will also need to register the death in the UK.

Read our step-by-step guide:


Medical Certificate of Cause of Death 

The first thing you need to do is get a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death. Depending on where your loved one passed away, this process can vary significantly.                                

How to get a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death



Registering a death


Before you can start planning funeral arrangements, you need to register the death of the individual. Find out what you need to do, where your nearest register office is and what paperwork will be required.

How to register a death



Bringing your loved one into our care 

Our dependable funeral professionals will ensure your loved one is carefully brought into our care and will be on hand to provide all the support and advice you need throughout this difficult time.

More on our quality care arrangements



Letting people know when someone dies

Telling others about the death of a relative or close friend can be a very difficult and stressful thing to go through. We’ve prepared a guide on how you can delicately break the news to others.

How to break the news of a death



When a coroner is involved

A coroner may be called to investigate a death, should it be sudden or unexpected. We will advise you on the role of the coroner and how it will affect your funeral arrangements.  

What is a coroner?



Organ donations

Thousands of people in the UK are registered organ and tissue donors, choosing to save the lives of others after they’ve passed away. Find out what happens to your loved one after organ or body donation.

Organ donation after death


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